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Giants Postgame Quotes

New York Giants players comment on their game against the New England Patriots from Gillette Stadium on Sunday, November 6, 2011.

Chris Canty, Defensive Tackle
(On the Giants offense)
"They bailed us out at the end. They put together a tremendous drive at the end and made a lot of plays and capped it off with a touchdown to Jake (Ballard).  Hats off to them, they made a lot of plays throughout the day.  They just kept battling and that was the story of the game."

(On how both offenses seemed to come alive in the second half)
"Both offenses started making plays and that's good for us when our offense is making plays, but we've got to try and do a better job defensively of limiting that; when our offense gets rolling, we've got to continue to keep the opposing offense off the field."

Jake Ballard, Tight End
(On his game-winning touchdown catch)
"The offensive line pinched and I ended up getting off quick and breaking it out because I knew I had to get separation from the linebacker; as soon as I turned around Eli threw it and it was there, I was just concentrating really hard to make sure I caught the ball."

(On what the win says about the team)
"I think it shows a lot of people we are for real.  We know we can do it and I think it just gives us the that confidence that we can compete."

Brandon Jacobs, Running Back
(On whether the game was a statement game)
"Well you know, we still have a lot of football left; New England is a good football team and it was a dog fight and we persevered at the end and got the win. It was a big win for us."

(On his play)
"I just took what they gave me and made the best of it. I wish I could have played better, I ran hard, but I still think I may have left some yards out on the field, but no one is perfect, I went in and did what they asked me to do."

(On if there was a lot of confidence when they took the field for the last drive)
"Yeah, when you've got Eli as the quarterback in a two minute situation, I am confident all the way in and out; Eli has been a beast all season long, ever since I've been in the league on two minute drives, he has been great.  The offensive line blocked very well, they protected him and they got in the end zone."

Jacquian Williams, Linebacker
(On the turnovers and the special teams play)
"Michael Boley made a great play on the quarterback. I just happened to have my eyes open and made the catch. Overall the defense played hard and played strong. It was fast. We made a couple of mistakes but overall we played a good game. Our specials teams were running around flying. Mark Herzlich had a good play, a couple of good plays, Greg Jones, (Spencer) Paysinger with the fumble recovery…. We were very explosive thanks to Coach (Tom) Quinn fixing a few things. It was good game to be a part of. "

Zak DeOssie, Long Snapper
(On special teams and turnovers)
"It feels great. My opportunities for tackles are very slim, so I took advantage. I watched a lot of film this week and I trusted my teammates. Everyone performed today….and any turnover in any game is huge. That is how you win and lose games on turnovers. I was there but I don't think I contributed as much as I had hoped, but 30 years from now I will be telling my grandkids I caused that fumble. "

Ramses Barden, Wide Receiver
(On his back shoulder catch near the end zone and the win)
"We just had little miscommunication. I should have run the fade, but both passes were open. Being on the same page as Eli (Manning) is going to count big in the future and I need to be in the back of the end zone when he needs me there. This was a unifying win, everybody contributed and everybody played well for the most part. We played physical and we played hard and it was a great effort on all sides. We are going to continue to earn everyone else's respect. I think it is going to lead to hard fought battles in the near future."

Victor Cruz, Wide Receiver
(On the game)
"Right after Jake (Ballard) caught that ball over the middle, it kind of inspired us. We knew we weren't coming out of there with a tie. We came this far and we were driving the ball. We weren't taking no for an answer. Once he made that catch it inspired all of us… We understand what defenses are coming at us with, week in and week out, and we understand how to counter them. We are going to enjoy this but we have some tough ones ahead including San Francisco next week."

Jason Pierre-Paul, Defensive End
(On what was the difference in the game)
"The difference in the game is that we won.  I'm just playing.  Really we just executed our plays.  The whole game we never gave up.  Even when we were down, we never gave up."

(On the Patriots' success in the 4th quarter)
"I don't know to tell you the truth.  Tom Brady is a good quarterback.  That is basically it"

(Asked how he feels)
"I feel good, man.  Never felt better.  That was just a headache (this week).  I played the whole football game, no problem."

Mark Herzlich, Linebacker
(On coming back to Massachusetts and getting a win)
"There is no better feeling, really. It is great right now.  Coming back to Boston and the Patriots are a great team.  We wanted to come out here and be physical and that is what ended up winning the game for us."

(On the excitement of this game)
"It was unbelievable.  There were lots of ups and downs.  On the sideline everyone was just focused on winning, the whole team.  From Eli [Manning] all the way down to us special teams guys, we are just focused on winning and doing our job right until the end of the game.  We had a lot of special teams work.  We knew we had to make plays and we knew the Patriots would make plays.  It came down to who got the ball last and our offense just executed."

Deon Grant, Safety
(On his near interception)
"It was a one-hander. I was supposed to be in pressure rushing but I just read him, he threw the ball outside and I just tried to reach for it.  I tried to pull it in but he throws a hard pass.  That was one I could have come down with but I didn't come down with it.  This is the NFL, you have the opportunity go back out there and line back up [and not think about it].  If you don't then you aren't in the NFL [for long]."

(On the Patriots moving the ball in the 4th quarter)
"They get paid, too.  Brady is an All-Pro quarterback and they have All-Pro receivers.  They have a great head coach so that's what happens."

Greg Jones, Linebacker
(On the Patriots moving the ball in the 4th quarter and the Giants defense)
"They started going to a quick snap, even faster than what they were doing earlier in the game.  It threw us off balance but once we got settled in and knew it was coming we were alert and ready to go.  I think everyone came out and put their heart out there.  I don't think anyone ever gave up or thought we didn't have a chance, even late in the game.  I would give our defense a good rating.  Obviously we don't want to give up a score late in the game.  That is how we lean on one another and build each other back up.  We all make mistakes out there but we find a way to win the game."

New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin

TC: Patriots are a heck of a football team. It was a heck of a game. I could sit here and pick it apart, but getting the four turnovers, wasn't too happy about the two that we gave them back, but nevertheless, the way in which it went 10-10 and then back and forth it went, and then the final two drives were outstanding and then the play there at the end. Again, the ball was down there at like the 6-inch line and we have one timeout left, and we do get the ball in the end zone. There is never, you know you never feel like you're got enough. I remember when Tom Brady had 35 seconds and I wasn't real comfortable there, and here we are with 12, I wasn't real comfortable. But, the guys did a really nice job. So, the defensive package, the pressure... You know, I don't know what the numbers are, the run/pass ratio or anything like that, but I do know that we got some pressure on the quarterback, which we tried to do. They kept two tight ends in there a lot which made it kind of difficult to rush and yet they were still very effective with their passing game, so I give them a lot of credit for that. And again, Eli [Manning] came back from the interception and made two exceptional touchdown plays and we able to just barely have enough time to win.

Q: Coach, can you talk about the effectiveness that [Brandon] Jacobs brought?

TC: He played really well. He was powerful and there wasn't any east/west or any thoughts of that today. I mean, he just dropped his shoulder and ran and he pounded his way to some really nice runs. And he also, when the hole wasn't there, he made two or three many times, which second and seven is a lot better than second and 10. So, I thought he played well and I thought he played tough, so our offensive line and tight ends and the pass group all did a nice job.

Q: Were you having Super Bowl flashbacks?

TC: No.

Q: The way you came down the field 4 years ago and you did it again today?

TC: No, not really. This is a whole new game. Just trying to be in the moment against a really good team and didn't have a lot of time to think about that kind of stuff.

Q: Jake Ballard found some spots early on, but then to make a catch in man coverage...

TC: Well, to throw it down the middle of the field and then he goes up and gets that one. I mean, they are coming to take the ball away there. And you know, he knew enough after the last situation going the other way. I mean, I thought he was clearly down, but the official wanted to make that he held onto the ball. I guess nobody could hear a whistle out there. Must be what the problem was there. Yeah, he has come up big, he did focus and concentrate and put the ball away. And did a good job on the power run as well.

Q: Was there any thought of running that last play that went to the touchdown?

TC: There is a sequence there, when you only have one timeout, there is a sequence. If you run the ball there and you don't make it, then you have a lot of trouble getting the next one off.

Q: On a third down you don't have a timeout, correct?

TC: That's right.

Q: How long does it take to get the field goal team?

TC: Longer than what, 16 seconds. That's tough when you are coming from the sideline like that. We have to be playing for the win though. I mean, that's what we were thinking all the way.

Q: Talk about Eli's poise in the final drive and the season he is having.

TC: I mean, he stood in there and there was pressure. He got blitzed 0-0 and hung in there and directed traffic and threw the ball where it should have been thrown. Kept great poise and was resilient as heck when he bounced back after the interception that we were thinking 3 [points], maybe 7. You know, and we didn't get it, but we came right back and did some good things on defense and battled away and found a way to win.

Q: Did you get an explanation on the [Mario] Manningham penalty? What that was all about?

TC: I got some explanation, but you can't see. You know it's over in that corner and I'm over here and the guys are celebrating. I mean, I have no idea. First of all, to put your team in a position like that, even if it's close, I mean, you can't do that. You can't do that. I mean, everything is being called. This is like a... so, you got to get away from people, you got to stay away from any circumstances that causes a foul to be called. I told him that he made a great catch, he made a great play. A couple games in a row, he's done that. But when I look out there and we have to kick the ball off, way back, and they have two really good returners back there. Lawrence [Tynes] did make a nice kick there though.

Q: People talked about the first part of the season being about easier competition. Do you think this says anything about the team and will the win will do anything for their confidence?

TC: As long as we prepare the same every week, for every opponent, and I think you come to the end of the week and you feel like you've earned the right to win. And then you have got to go play it, compete and you've got to make the plays, but the whole thing that I am interested in is the way that we prepare. All the clichés come flying out, it's an eight game schedule now, so it's on to the 49ers.

Q: What do you think, Tom, about that second half offensive production given your starting running back is out, your top receiver is out, your center is out?

TC: Guys have a chance. Look at the play Ramses [Barden] made. I'm sorry he didn't get into the end zone down there, but he makes a great play on the sideline there, stretches out with his length, But, guys just got to keep playing. Whatever happens, whatever works during the course of the week. We have been doing that all year and there is no reason to stop doing that now and you might want to take a second and Kevin Booth does a really good job when he plays.

Q: How did it feel in the locker room after the players put you on their shoulders in celebration?

TC: I was thinking they were going to drop me on my head, is what I was thinking.

Q: Not to harp on this, but on the interception, was he [Eli Manning] throwing that one to [Victor] Cruz?

TC: He was headed to the corner of the end zone.

Q: Would you talk about Steve Weatherford and what he did in the first half?

TC: That was really the key for us, I mean, the number of punts. Two of them were on the 5-yard line and really kept them backed up. If you want to talk about reflecting on things, you remember the pre-season game, they went 90 just like that. The ball was first down at the minus 10 and they drove it. Yeah, but he did a really outstanding job in the first half. And he put them back where they had the long field.

Q: You have been with Eli [Manning] since his start. Has he had a better stretch than this season?

TC: You know, I think he does an awful lot of good things even when some of the numbers aren't as good, but he certainly has earned, and played well and deservedly so, the respect that he is getting.

Q: Does this compare to the playoff stretch on the way to win the Super Bowl?

TC: I don't know. This is, we won a game under difficult circumstances and that's all I am concerned about. No comparisons. As I said, we have a long road ahead of us, but if we can come together and play like this. You know, help and support each other, and stay away from the turnovers and we get ourselves in a position where we are, to some extent, stopping the run. I don't know what the numbers are again, but I thought we did a little better of a job at that tonight.

New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning

Q: Do you find there to be similarities between that last drive and the last time you played in the Super Bowl?  

EM: There's obviously a few similarities with 1:30 left, with two timeouts, and Jake Ballard had a big catch down the middle for 28 yards at third and 10. It's a little different when we're down by three in that situation, so we could have settled for a field goal and I'm glad we didn't. We had a big pass interference that got the ball down to the one-yard line. They had a good blitz on first down and [we] couldn't get in. Then ran it at the second down and used their last time out. So third down with 19 seconds, you're in a situation where if you run it right there, you risk not getting off that fourth-down play. You have to run your field goal team on the field and try to un-pile those guys and kick it. So I'm glad we caught a pass, I thought, after just running it the time before, and hit a little play action, hit Ballard in the corner of the end zone, so it was a big play and a big win.   

Q: You were talking about flashbacks. Were you comparing this game to the last one?  

EM: [I was just thinking about] the fact that the last time we played when we had a two-minute drive to win the game. It was just the same situation here. It was a little bit of a role reversal of when we scored to go up by four and gave the Patriots enough time where they had to score a touchdown. Fortunately enough, they scored real quick and it took them a minute and half and left us with enough time to get a good drive, thinking we only needed a field goal. We had plenty of time to go down there and get that, and you always want to get the touchdown. You never want to take it into overtime. You always want to get the win if possible, but fortunately enough, we made some big plays, we got into a situation where we could be aggressive and go for the touchdown.  

Q: What's so much fun about being in that situation for you?  

EM: I think it's just that you know what to expect, you know what all the terms are. You have four downs to go for it. You know you have to make plays, you have to take chances sometimes and be aggressive. The offensive linemen know what their assignment is; they have to block, giving it their all every play. The receivers know they have to get open, and it's just that those are fun situations to be in. I think as an athlete and as a quarterback, you want the ball in your hands at the end of the game. I'd rather be down by three with 1:30 than up by four with 1:30 with Tom Brady on the field. So, I think that you like those situations where you have the opportunity to win the game.  

Q: How difficult do you think that catch was for Jake to make in the middle?  

EM: I haven't seen the replay, but they were playing man underneath, with two safeties high, and we really hadn't thrown anything to him down the middle and so he got even with the guy and he's just a big target. You try to put it in a spot where he can make the catch, put it up high and get it into his hands. Sometimes they get their hands up after the ball hits them, or the safety can come and hit it out, but Ballard is a big sucker and make a big catch.  

Q: Is this win more satisfying for you knowing you didn't have two of your top weapons?  

EM: I think anytime you come into this stadium against the Patriots and get a win, it's a big win. They are very good at home and they're always a good team, especially at home. They've been a great team for the last 10 years. I think to come in here and to fight – and it wasn't always the prettiest. They had a good plan and had us struggling there for a little bit, but I think we did some great things. We moved the ball, hit some big plays, had a good feel for what they were doing and ran the ball a little bit. Obviously we hurt ourselves when I turned the ball over down there in the red zone. That was one thing - we had to score touchdowns in the red zone. We didn't do that to start the game, but our last two drives we were able to finish it off and get touch downs.  

Q: Thinking back to the time when you were on the radio talking about being in the same elite class as Tom Brady, what are your thoughts about it now?  

EM: I'm just trying to play to the best of my ability. I'm trying to play quarterback and win games. I don't get involved in trying to rank someone or compare myself to someone else. I'm just trying to win games for the Giants and we had a big win today.  

Q: Did you see any of the signs in the stands saying you were not an elite quarterback?  

EM: I did not. I don't make it a habit of looking into the stands and reading signs. If I did, I don't think I would have thought they were the experts to make that decision.  

Q: Are you surprised that the question about where you rank has become a season-long debate?  

EM: I just don't worry about it; it doesn't affect my performance, my preparation or my mindset on what I need to do each week. If someone wants to put me in that class or not doesn't bother me. It's not going to get me depressed or get me cocky. I just try to prepare each week and go out there and try to win each game.  

Q: Can you talk about the penalty?  

EM: Really, it was a fortunate situation that they were showing a blitz, checked the protection and ran out. Some of the guys didn't quite get all of the route check and so really it's just the throw away – to put it somewhere in the Victor Cruz area – but throw it away and say, 'Hey we're screwed up here.' It wasn't a good situation. Fortunately, their guy held Victor and we got the ball down at the one-yard line. So we were really pretty fortunate right there.  

Q: On the interception…  

EM: It's just a tough situation. They came out with an all-out blitz and had a free guy rushing toward me. It's one of those things where you try to put it up high in the corner, and let Mario [Manningham] run underneath it. I didn't quite put it deep enough in the corner back in the end zone. They were just able to see the throw and come off and intercept it. So, I made it a little bit too easy for them.  

Q: What statement did you make about your team tonight?  

EM: If we made a statement, I'm proud of our guys, the way we fought tonight. We've done a great job all season. Things weren't always pretty. The first half offensively, we didn't get a whole lot going. But we didn't start forcing things. We didn't start turning the ball over. We stuck with it, we made adjustments and we started making some big plays. We started running the ball, we started running plays that gave us a shot to succeed and when we needed touchdowns, when we had to step up, guys continued to make plays at the right time. It's a great quality. When we need it, guys are making big plays.  

Q: Do you feel like you are playing your best in this stretch from the start of the season until now?  

EM: I feel good about what we are doing offensively. We're more mature. We have guys who have been here at the receiving positions [for a while]. The offensive line has been here a number of years, and all of a sudden they are playing things they haven't showed all year. We have to make adjustments. We've got to be able to run some plays we haven't practiced in a few weeks. We have to call plays that we haven't talked about doing before. Our coach has great confidence in these guys that we can call some things that we haven't practiced in a month, but we can bring them back up if we need to do it. That's that advantage of having guys that have been here a number of years. Being here with coach for a number of years, you can pull some stuff out of that hat to give yourself a chance to succeed. That's fun. If they are running a few different things they haven't showed, we've got to run a couple things we haven't practiced.  

Q: Why should we believe you really don't care about your standing?  

EM: I worry about my play, about what I think of my performance. It doesn't make a difference to me about what the media or fans say about me. I don't read the papers about myself or the Giants for the most part. I don't watch TV about the Giants and see what people have to say about me or us. I watch the film closely of myself and my teammates and try to put us in a situation to get better. I listen to our coaches, listen to their criticism and [take] their advice to heart and try to improve on each thing they tell me to do. I think those are the things you have to do to get better.  

Q: Can you talk about your teammates' willingness to defend you?  

EM: That's what teammates are for. I love coming to practice every day and seeing these guys compete, watching our defense [and] the way that they play and compete and get fired up. When they make interceptions and big plays, we celebrate them, we cheer. When we make offensive big plays, they are cheering for us. It's a great combination and we've got to keep that attitude the rest of the season.

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